Pertamina, Aramco let contract for Cilacap refinery upgrade

Indonesia’s PT Pertamina (Persoro) and Saudi Aramco have let a contract to a subsidiary of Amec Foster Wheeler PLC to provide engineering and project management services for the upgrade and expansion of the 348,000-b/d Cilacap refinery on Java, Indonesia.

Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd. will execute the basic engineering design study as well as finalize the process configuration and licensors’ packages for the proposed upgrading project over the next 9 months, Pertamina and Aramco said.

The overall expansion, which comes as part of Pertamina’s Refinery Development Master Plan (RDMP) to increase Indonesia’s energy security and ensure the long-term competitiveness of its refineries (OGJ Online, Oct. 7, 2013), will cost an estimated $4-5 billion, the companies said.

In addition to increasing crude oil processing capacity at Cilacap to 370,000 b/d, the project, once completed, will enable the refinery to:

• Maximize production of gasoline and diesel volumes that meet more stringent emissions standards.

• Improve the quality of base oils production.

• Expand production capacity of aromatics to more than 600,000 tonnes/year.

• Expand production of polypropylene to more than 160,000 tpy.

Front-end engineering design for the project is due to be completed in 2018, with engineering, procurement, and construction activities scheduled to kick off in 2019.

The companies said they expect to complete the entirety of Cilacap’s upgrade by yearend 2022.

Pertamina-Aramco cooperation

This latest contract award follows an earlier heads of agreement between Pertamina and Aramco to formalize joint ownership, operation, and upgrade of the Cilacap refinery, according to Nov. 26, 2015, news release from Aramco.

At the time, Aramco said the upgrading project also would equip the refinery to process more sour crudes, including Arabian crudes that will be delivered to Cilacap under a long-term supply agreement the companies entered as part of their larger strategic partnership.

Per the terms of the HOA, Pertamina is to hold a 70% interest in Cilacap, while Aramco will hold a 30% interest, according to local media reports out of Indonesia.

Prior to the November 2015 HOA, Pertamina signed a memorandum of understanding with Aramco, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) to undertake a 10-year, $25-billion plan to modernize five of Pertamina’s Indonesian refineries as part of the RDMP program (OGJ Online, Dec. 15, 2014).

As part of the MOU agreement, Pertamina agreed to work with Aramco to develop and evaluate investment options for three refineries, which in addition to Cilacap, include the 170,000-b/d Dumai facility in Riau and the 125,000-b/d Balongan facility in West Java.

Sinopec will collaborate in upgrading plans for the 118,000-b/d Plaju refinery in South Sumatra, while JX Nippon will work with the company to modernize the 260,000-b/d Balikpapan refinery in East Kalimantan, Pertamina said.

Should the expansion and upgrading program advance as scheduled under the current MOU, the final phase of RDMP would be completed in 2025, the company said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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